Meditation Series #7: What Does It Mean To Quiet Your Mind
In the 7th of this meditation series, we're going to dig into how to quiet that pesky mind chatter. If you are not overachieving and extremely busy in today’s society, you are the exception to the rule it would seem. We are all guilty at some point of this; we overextend, overachieve, and overstress ourselves to the point of breaking down, burning out. Little do we realize, however, that we are hurting our body by hurting our mind & spirit. But what does it really mean to have a quiet mind? Does it mean radio silence in there?
In my opinion, No. An absolutely silent mind is impossible. However, it is entirely possible to have a still mind, a "quiet mind." A mind that is not racing, jumping around like a squirrel. A mind that is not spiraling out of control down into the depths of despair.
There are three things that can help with this...
1. The Art of Gratitude
It is so easy to be upset when things do not go our way. From the moment we spill our coffee, lock our keys in the car, and forget our lunch, a spiral of circumstances can set us off into a tailspin of negativity. However, we can choose to stay in a state of discontent and let that dictate our day, or we can be grateful for the other things in our lives even if they are not present in front of us right now.
Did you ever notice that when something nice happens, we tend to smile for a moment and then move on? However, when something goes wrong, we feel the need to tell everyone and anyone that will listen. We for some reason we want to bang the drum of bitching all day long it seems sometimes. It is in those exact moments of discontent that we need to focus on what we are grateful for, and it is then and only then that we will pull ourselves up from discontent. Be willing to let go and move forward.
Keeping the focus on gratitude offers your mind something to smile about, regardless of outside circumstances. Focusing on people, places, and even things that make you grateful gives your mind the quiet respite that it needs to stay active and healthy in the future. Being grateful even for the "bad" things has been called a "mindful revolution" by Jack Kornfield. Abraham Hicks calls this "Step 5", the ultimate level of appreciation, the appreciation of the contrast in your life.
The cultivating of mindfulness, stillness allows us to become present in our own bodies, in the life we have and are creating for ourselves. A lovely cycle then begins. We naturally become more appreciative, grateful, quiet minded. I love positive feedback loops! Don't you?
2. Time for Nothingness
We touched on this last week as well. “La Dolce Far Niente,” which means- the sweetness of doing nothing.
Everyone has a busy schedule; that is a known fact. We all set our schedules to overflowing and then complain that we do not have time for ourselves. Take a good hard look at your schedule and see what you can delete and what you can delegate. If you are going to have a healthy mind, you need to take care of it just as you would your body. One cannot function healthily without the other.
The best tip here for quieting your mind is to put that on your schedule. Put it in big red pen on your calendar, text yourself a reminder, and place it on your list of things to do this week. Schedule your self-care just like you would any other appointment or task. Make it a regular habit and over time it won't have to be a delberate action. It will become part of your regular routine like brushing your teeth.
3. Take a Moment
Being in the moment has become a cliché; however, if you really take the time and trouble to learn what that means, you will learn how to quiet your mind in the process. Focus on what you are doing at the exact moment you are doing it. Be present. Focus on the task at hand not the ten other things on your to-do list. In this way, you are focused on the moment at hand and not two days from now when something big is arising. It can also be called being "in the zone."
You also will need to accept your thoughts and work with them. Stop fighting and work from a place of acceptance. Are you a past-focused person or a future-focused person? We all so a little of both, but usually, we do more future tripping or dwelling in the past. When you catch yourself in one of these moments, just acknowledge, then redirect to the now. I suggest reading Eckart Tolle's "The Power of Now" for more direction on being present. It's a great perspective on now minded living.
These are just three helpful tips for quieting your mind. I hope you try them all and let me know what has worked for you or what you found the most challenging.
If you enjoyed this post and are wanting to THRIVE, not just survive, consider working with me as your personal health coach. Together we will make an actionable plan based on where you are and where you want to be. All of my plans include a comprehensive health history, food plan, recipes, shopping lists and a plethora of support materials, not to mention all the mindfulness tools & techniques I teach you to put those gremlins to rest for good!
I invite you to join me on my Facebook page,facebook.com/drlaramay, where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life. Be sure to check out my podcast on your favorite platform, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean or Anchor.Fm @Light Body Radio.
To your wellness,
- Dr. Lara
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